To IB Or Not To IB?

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by Stacia Nugent

The IB Program, a significant educational opportunity for students all around the world, was formed in 1968. Boyd Anderson was the first school in Broward County to launch this curriculum in 1985. The program consists of rigorous courses that aim to challenge students at a higher level in order to prepare them for college. Just to be clear, IB is not a just a few tough ​courses. ​ It’s a college-preparatory alternative to the standard high school curriculum. It may span only two years of your life, but the workload is massive.

Now, with all of the factual information out of the way, the real question is:  To IB or not to IB? ​ In other words, should you, an incoming freshman, participate in this rigorous program that demands your full commitment? I don’t know. That’s for you to evaluate as you read through a couple of first-hand accounts from IB students in this year’s senior graduating class of 2019:

Antoinette: Note to all incoming candidates: Prepare to do a lot of work and expect a lot of responsibilities! It takes drive, endurance, and prayer to prepare you for rigorous college courses. I feel that the IB program has prepared me by introducing me to subjects that I would only see in college. It’s more than just textbooks and projects; it’s a way of innovative learning that adopts a deeply analytical approach to even the simplest concepts.

Antoinette, 12th grader, IB student at BAHS

Ray: Say sayonara to your video games, and say hello to your textbooks! No, literally. IB has exposed us to college life at an early age by immersing us in the constant writing of essays and teaching us to meet strict deadlines. IB is beneficial for us, but the benefits only come with hard work and dedication. Passivity is not accepted.

Ray, 12th grader, IB student at BAHS

As you can see, the IB Program is not a “one size fits all approach,” but it has its benefits. Not only will you earn college credits,  you’ll be able to demonstrate, in your college applications, that you can handle extreme heat in terms of workload. It also has its downsides: Not all colleges accept IB credit, so if Harvard is your top choice, you may want to rethink it. Although some schools do accept credits from the IB curriculum, a majority only accept those obtained from high-level classes. If you’re staying in the sunshine state to get your degree, however, you’re in luck! Most of Florida’s top schools accept IB credit as long as you pass your exams with at least a 4. You also qualify for the Bright Futures Scholarship, which guarantees you a full ride to any Florida school.

So, is the IB Program worth participating in? If you’re a college-bound kid who can handle the heat, and you love rigorous, challenging study….then, go for it!